New diabetic trial in Orange
There is a new patient trial for painful diabetic neuropathy and local Noel Burgess is the first patient in Australia to join the trial.
“My mother always knew that I was number one. I just like to be able help,” laughed Noel.
Noel added, “Being a farmer my feet are always that sore and it knocks me about mentally and physically. It is mainly sore at night when I come home and get the weight off my feet. You make life the best you can though. It is dreadful at the moment with drought but that is part and parcel with what we do. It will be a lifesaver for me if the drug works pain wise. It will be a lot different lifestyle for me anyways”.
Professor Simon Hawke from Central West Neurology and Neurosurgery is conducting the trial which is a global study.
“The trial is to just help with the pain and at the moment we have a very limited number of medications that we use for painful nerve problems. This is a completely new class of drug and they are working out whether or not it has an effect.
“There are only 14 sites around the world doing this trial and four of them are in Australia. This is a phase two study and it is very hard to get onto it because you have to have exactly the right profile and you can’t have a lot of other conditions,” said Simon.
Orange is a big centre for neurology and through Simon’s connections we were able to get the trial.
Noel said, “I think it is brilliant for the country and if it works it is going to be a great thing for people who suffer with this problem. That was my number one reason for doing it”.
Any individual person goes on the trial for 3 months and Noel now only has four weeks left.
“Everybody is interested about the trial and I am very excited. I am just hoping it works. It sounds like this medication could be a lot better,” said Noel.
Simon added, “If it does work it will be all over the world. So, in Orange you are contributing to this study, the same as the people in Denmark, the US and France. We are at the cutting edge of advancing and getting a new treatment”.
Noel says the trial is quite simple, but it does require consistency.
“I just have to take two tablets a day, an hour before meals or two hours after meals. It was a weekly test for the first 6 weeks and now it is fortnightly, and it will just go on.
“I think if people would like to get onto the study please do. They just need more people to be on the study,” said Noel.
Simon added, “One of the reasons why people are knocked back is because they aren’t consistent enough and it is quite rigorous for Noel to be involved so he is doing a great job. You also can’t have heart disease, bad kidneys or be on certain medication. Anybody that has diabetes who has pain in the feet we would be interested in seeing them and likewise anybody who has had shingles and has bad pain we would also be interested as we are about to start a trial for that too”.